Humidity and Finish

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the July/August 2000 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"I am fairly new at rodmaking, but I have had several orders coming in lately and I absolutely love it! However, I keep hearing that you can not use Flex Coat finish when the humidity is above 50% and I have 3 rods that need to be coated. I visited a friend who has been building rods for over 30 years and he showed me the problem when coating under high humidity. There seems to be a while film within the coating that can't be removed. I called the Flex Coat company and they told me that this is absolutely not true but that you simply have to fill in the small triangle hollow areas by the guide feet to keep out moisture and this should solve the problem. I don't know whether or not to coat these rods right now as the humidity in upstate New York is pretty high right now and I sure don't want to rebuild these rods! I have read some of your answers in the rodmaking bulletin board and you certainly strike me as being one of the most knowledgable people in this field. Perhaps you can help me. Thanks so much for your time." Monica Accee

"The idea that high humidity will somehow undermine the cure or the appearance of epoxy rod finish is widespread but unfounded. The folks at Flex Coat are giving you the straight scoop when they say that humidity will not change or harm the set-up and cure of your finish. They are also wise to advise you the importance of filling the tunnels formed between the wraps and the guide feet with epoxy finish. Any water that gets in here while the rod is in use can discolor and even shorten the lifespan of the wraps. Sometimes after this moisture dissipates any discoloration will go away and things will appear as normal, at least until the next use of the rod when the situation repeats itself.

Another source of this white haze you mention is often due to the overuse of certain types of color preserver. Any of the acrylic color preservers that appear white in the bottle will also appear white on the wraps if you apply too much. Pay close attenton to the thinning and coating instructions the manufactures offer on these products. Many rod builders run into trouble when they decide that contrary thinning and application methods are somehow better than what the manufacturer of the product suggests.

RodMaker Magazine

While I wouldn't recommend applying finish outside during a rainstorm, I will say that you have no reason to fear high humidity when applying epoxy rod finish.

Still can believe it? I performed a test to ease your mind somewhat. I measured and mixed some Flex Coat in the normal manner and then poured it into a glass of water. The next day I poured the water out and was left with a perfectly cured, and clear, flat of epoxy finish." ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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